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Team Pride Shines at the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships

Setting the Stage

The 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships was an unforgettable event for Team Pride. Known as the largest Muay Thai tournament in North America, the TBA Classic brings together top fighters from around the globe, and this year saw over 1,100 competitors. The tournament, renowned for its smooth organization, gets better every year, making it a highlight in the Muay Thai calendar.

Team Pride has been participating in this prestigious event for almost a decade, and this year was no exception. Our fighters came prepared, fueled by months of intense training and the unwavering support of our incredible community.

In this blog post, we want to share the remarkable journey of our fighters—the challenges they faced, the victories they celebrated, and the invaluable lessons they learned. Each athlete’s story is a testament to their courage, skill, and perseverance.

The TBA Classic is about more than just winning titles. It’s about the experiences we gain, the personal growth we achieve, and the camaraderie that develops among fighters, coaches, and supporters. Our participation in this event highlights the essence of Pride Mixed Martial Arts—where hard work, determination, and a strong sense of family come together to create champions both in and out of the ring.

We are excited to take you through our journey at the 2024 TBA Classic and to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our fighters. Let’s dive into the highlights and relive the moments that made this year’s tournament so special for Team Pride.

Team Pride’s Journey to the Championships

This year, we had quite a few fighters competing for the very first time, making our journey to the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships even more special. Our training camp was a grueling 10-week process, designed to prepare our athletes physically, mentally, and emotionally for the challenges ahead.

The preparation was intense, involving rigorous training sessions that tested our fighters’ endurance, strength, and technique. Each athlete had to push their limits, often training multiple times a day. Sparring sessions, conditioning drills, and technical work were all integral parts of our training regimen.

Our athletes had to navigate demanding training schedules along with personal commitments such as school, work, and family time. Many of our fighters are students who had to balance their academic responsibilities with their training. Some also hold jobs, showing remarkable commitment by training after long workdays. Maintaining family relationships while training for a major tournament was another challenge, but our fighters managed to strike a balance. Ensuring enough rest and recovery was crucial to prevent injuries and maintain peak performance.

The unwavering support from the Pride community played a vital role. Coaches were there every step of the way, offering guidance, refining techniques, and pushing our athletes to be their best. The camaraderie among the fighters and other students created a supportive environment, where everyone motivated each other to keep going, even when the training got tough. The moral support from family and friends was crucial. Their understanding and encouragement allowed our fighters to commit fully to their training, knowing they had a strong support system behind them.

This collective effort and dedication culminated in our team being well-prepared and ready to compete at the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships. The journey was challenging but strengthened our resolve and highlighted the true spirit of Pride Mixed Martial Arts.

Team Pride Shines at the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships

Highlights of Individual Fighters

This year, our athletes showcased extraordinary determination and skill at the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships. Each fighter brought their unique strengths to the ring, representing Pride with courage and resilience. Competing at such a high level requires immense dedication, and our fighters demonstrated that they have what it takes to excel. We are proud of every competitor who stepped into the ring and gave their all.

The athletes who competed this year were:

  • Falyn “The Felon” Maxwell
  • Anthony “Smithers” Smitherman
  • Seth “Megaseth” Campbell
  • Cole “The Slaw” Harvey
  • Ben “Grits” Brooks
  • “Fat Jackie” Privette
  • Bret “Sak Sak” Foster
  • Sophia “Coach Pain” Palin
  • Aiden Williams
  • “Wreck it” Beckett Gunter
  • Sadie Fleeman
  • Eloheem Ali
  • “Juicy” Stone Boren
  • Damarye Johnson

Team Achievements and Milestones

The 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships is known for attracting the best competitors from around the world, making it one of the most challenging and prestigious tournaments in the sport. This year, the competition spanned four intense days, with some of our fighters having to step into the ring multiple times in a single day. Tournaments like this are a true test of a fighter’s endurance, skill, and mental toughness.

Unlike regular bouts, tournaments demand more from the athletes. Early mornings, late nights, and the need to manage rest, nerves, and injuries all add to the challenge. Each fight brings a new set of obstacles, requiring our fighters to stay focused and adapt quickly. The rigorous schedule pushes fighters to their limits, making every victory even more rewarding.

Team Pride rose to the occasion, demonstrating exceptional resilience and determination. Cole “The Slaw” Harvey’s journey to becoming the 2024 TBA-SA Classic Muay Thai World Champion is a testament to this. His ability to dominate his opponent with effective clinch work, despite the demanding tournament conditions, speaks volumes about his preparation and mental fortitude. Additionally, Cole’s recognition as one of five “Fighters of the Tournament” out of over 1,100 competitors by Ajarn Chai highlights his outstanding performance and dedication.

A particularly inspirational story from this year’s tournament is that of Sophia “Coach Pain” Palin. At 62 years old, Sophia stepped into the ring for the first time, competing at the largest Muay Thai tournament in North America and earning the silver medal. Her courage and determination were nothing short of remarkable. Sophia’s participation and performance are a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to pursue your passions and challenge yourself. Her journey has left a lasting impact on everyone, showcasing the true spirit of a warrior.

Our team’s achievements extend beyond individual victories. Jackie Privette, Anthony Smitherman, Falyn Maxwell, Aiden Williams, Sadie Fleeman, and Beckett Gunter each earned a silver medal, showcasing their skill and dedication. Notably, it was particularly special to see Falyn (mother) and Anthony (son) both compete and earn silver, highlighting the familial bonds and shared commitment within our team. These accomplishments are a testament to their hard work and the unwavering support of the Pride community.

The camaraderie and mutual support among our fighters and coaches were crucial in navigating the challenges of the tournament. The collective effort and spirit of our team were evident throughout the competition, highlighting the true essence of Pride Mixed Martial Arts.

Acknowledgements

The success of Team Pride at the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships would not have been possible without the incredible support from various individuals and groups. We are deeply grateful for the dedication, effort, and encouragement that have helped our fighters achieve their best.

First and foremost, we want to acknowledge our coaches. Jack Manis, thank you for holding pads and prepping fighters between bouts. Your hands-on support and expertise were crucial in keeping our fighters ready and focused. Keelie “Coach Kiwi” Cargill, your dedication in traveling all the way from Texas to help prepare our fighters is deeply appreciated. Your presence and guidance were invaluable. Ronney “Gammy Ron Ron,” thank you for all the behind-the-scenes work and managing communication logistics for such a large team with many back-to-back bouts. Your efforts ensured everything ran smoothly, and the whole team was on point.

We also extend our heartfelt thanks to the parents and families of our fighters. Danielle Harvey, your meal prep and feeding the team kept everyone fueled and ready to perform. Melissa Epps, thank you for all the behind-the-scenes organization, grocery store runs, and keeping the coaches organized. Your efforts were essential in helping our team be at their best. Kim Kalnitzki, we appreciate you taking vacation time to work as an official at the event. Your commitment and support were invaluable.

To our fellow students and teammates at Pride Mixed Martial Arts, your camaraderie and encouragement have created a supportive environment that fosters growth and determination. Thank you for being there to cheer on your peers and for contributing to the spirit of our community.

A special thank you to our fans and supporters back home. Your enthusiasm and positive energy have been felt by our fighters, providing an extra boost of motivation. We are grateful for your unwavering support and for being a part of the Pride family.

Lastly, we would like to acknowledge the organizers of the TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships. Your dedication to creating a well-organized, competitive, and inspiring event is greatly appreciated. Thank you for providing a platform where athletes can showcase their skills and passion for Muay Thai.

Together, we have achieved remarkable success, and we look forward to continuing this journey with all of you. Thank you for making the 2024 TBA Classic World Muay Thai Championships an unforgettable experience for Team Pride.

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